Saturday, May 28, 2022

April Morning with Process Shots

April Morning, 10 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2022

It has been a busy spring for me... A big museum show in Kerrville TX, a weekend workshop in Austin TX, and a couple of commissions! I got behind in my blogging, and will try to play a little catch up starting with the workshop. I had a great group of students and I always love seeing their work and progress! So rewarding! Here is the break down of my demo on the second day...

Loosely outlined shapes of major masses.

Indicated dark values in the layers to give a road map for rest of painting.

Painted shadow family in upright plane – began to establish foreground, middle ground, background. 

Painted light family in upright planes, muting and cooling as each plane recedes.


Added ground plane and sky plane. It's important to get the canvas covered completely in order to see what is working and what needs adjustment... 

Made adjustments to better define values and separate layers. Saved highlights till the very end. Always!

Monday, February 28, 2022

Creek Reflections

Creek Reflections, 12 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel

The marshlands of St. Simons have a particular draw for me... but when deep reflections are involved, I am unable to resist! The stillness, the soft ripples, the warm winter grasses... Mmmm Mmm... so delish! I am looking forward to getting back! 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Sand Castles - Figures on Friday!

 

Sand Castles, 8 x 8, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2022
Gifted! 

I have so much respect for portrait artists. Capturing someone's unique personality and one of a kind facial expressions is HARD! This "quick" little study of my niece became a multiple day challenge for me. I could not get her face right and had to keep wiping out her entire head to begin it again. It took WAY more time than I expected, but I am finally happy with it. Whew!

Oil Painter Friends, here is a take away tip:
If you run into a problem area like this one while painting... Resist the urge to keep adding more and more paint on top of the problem. Stop. Admit defeat. Deep breath. THEN... Scrub out the small section that you are "fixing", wiping it completely down to the canvas. (Completely.) I use a paper towel carefully wrapped around my finger to tackle the specific area. When area is clean, rebuild the passage from the ground up. Start with the dark neutral underdrawing and re-sketch, then build the color from dark to light. Highlights last. You might have to do it more than once, like me, but you'll be surprised how well it works!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

From The Clearing

From The Clearing, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel
SOLD

I loved seeing this little cabin through the trees, all lit up by the morning sun. I have painted it before from several different angles, but this more "distant" view was a new one... very compelling. Was it the light? the mystery? Probably a little of both! ;)

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Walk On The Pier - Figures on Friday!

Walk On The Pier, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2022
NFS

Here is another "family" memory for Figures on Friday this week. This is my dear father-in-law with one of his great grandsons (my grand nephew). One fun thing about painting people you know is that it feels like you are actually having a little visit with them! Love that!

I'm also including my block-in for this piece to contrast with last week's block-in. You can see that I started with my usual approach, the dark underpainting. But this time, instead of working dark to light, I painted the light areas around my dark sketch. This allowed me to lock in the shapes of the figures which is really helpful. After that, I toggled back and forth between the figures and everything else. I also adjusted the drawing a bit, as the figures were leaning to the left at first. Can't have that! ;)

Painted around Block-in... 
Final painting.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Winter Marsh

Winter Marsh, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2022

Even in the Golden Isles, some days are cold, wet, and wintery, especially in January. But if it's a painting day, well, one can not be deterred! Fingerless gloves help (if you remember them) and it's always an adventure! The colors are subdued and the soft light offers an overall tonal quality I so love. Even in the cold, the joy of being out makes it worth the effort.

The view from my easel. You can see that the tide went out while I was painting! :)

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Daddy Daughter Dance - Figures on Friday with process shots!

Daddy Daughter Dance, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2022
NFS

This sweet tiny dancer is my grand niece. I caught her dancing with daddy at a family wedding where she was the flower girl. Of course, she stole everyone's heart in that little tulle dress! She is a teenager now and still a beauty. This blast from the past was VERY fun to paint. I've been thinking about it for years!  

I started this painting a little differently. Here are some process shots...

1) To start, I covered the entire canvas with a thin layer of ultramarine and burnt sienna mix (sorry, no picture of that!) THEN, I loosely wiped out the light areas of the image. I chose this approach because the scene was very dark, and "wiping out" made it easier to establish a high contrast, back lit setting. 

2) Once large areas of light were wiped out, I painted back into the panel using the same dark neutral mix. This time, I was careful to check my shapes for proper proportions and to adjust the composition. 

3) I finished the piece in my usual fashion: working directly into the underpainting... building it from dark to light. And as always, I saved the tantalizing highlights for the very end. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Dappled Path

Dappled Path, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2022

This is another plein air piece from the Georgia coast at the end of last year. I am always enthralled with the huge, beautiful oak trees and the climbing vines that boldly climb everywhere there! These are on the barrier island of Jekyll. 

This view from shade into distant light was a bit tricky, because those warm colors of the marsh wanted to come forward. One way to solve that problem is to mute down the distant color. Another solution is to make the foreground much stronger in contrast and value. Doing BOTH helps, too! ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Going Fishing - Figures on Friday

Going Fishing, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2022
Click to purchase - $150 + $18 s/h

Figures on Friday is BACK! I had so much fun with these at the end of 2021, that I have decided to keep doing them. They train my eyes and hands in new ways! AND, they make me happy! :)

This little guy was up early and ready to get going! Can't you just imagine that he was dreaming of "the big one" as he looked out on that cool, bright morning? I hope he always has that determination and excitement... that's what keep us going! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Road Goes on Forever - process shots (and a song!)


The Road Goes On Forever, 8 x 10, oil on panel

Today's painting title comes from a song of the same name by Texas singer-songwriter, Robert Earl Keen. It's fun to be in a concert when he sings the chorus, "the road goes on forever and the party never ends!", because EVERYONE joyfully jumps in. It's contagious!! Robert Earl announced his retirement last week... but I have to say, it's for all the right reasons. He wants to go out while he still LOVES what he is doing (not because he is sick or tired or bored). Good for him!! 

This painting is a demo from my last workshop. Throughout the painting session we all kept singing that song's refrain (well, some did, and you Texans know who you are), so I had to use it for the title. An homage.

And below... process shots... the road goes on forever... 

1) Sketched outlines of big shapes for placement, size and composition.


2) Blocked in masses of value, to indicate the planes of the landscape:
Upright plane, distant upright plane (or slant), ground plane, and sky plane.

3) Massed in best average value of greens for the uprights.
Distant uprights are cooler and more muted than foreground uprights.

4) Massed in ground plane observing color changes within the overall value.

5) Added sky plane, and included a variety of temperatures at the horizon. 
Broke up masses in each plane with highlights and lowlights. 

... and the party never ends!!! 
Thank you, Robert Earl Keen!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Call of the Marsh, and Happy New Year!

Call of the Marsh, 12 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2022

I just returned from celebrating the holidays with my family on the Georgia coast. It was a delicious time with four generations, and never a dull (or quiet) moment with our grandkids having cousin time! 

Happily, we planned an extra week for ourselves and I was able to get in some painting time as well! It felt so good to dip those brushes and focus back in after a few weeks away from the easel! ;) Inspiration is everywhere at the beach, and I can never get enough! 

Wishing you all a happy and inspired new year!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Morning Stroll - Figures on Friday #11

Morning Stroll, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2015

It's the week before the actual week of Christmas, and life is speeding up. Very predictably!! 'Tis truly the season, and I hope yours is wonderful.

I am in the middle of Christmas preparations and having to admit to myself that I won't be getting to the easel today. SO... my Figures on Friday offering this week is an older plein air piece from the archives. Scenes like this are what make me want to get faster at capturing human movement and gestures. When a cute little mom and her son walk by, it's just so fun to try and pop them in! :)

May your weekend be merry and bright... 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Hillside Meadows - Holiday Group Show at the Davis Gallery!

Hillside Meadows, 24 x 30, Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2021

Our annual holiday group show opened at the Davis Gallery this weekend. It was wonderful to be together to celebrate Art and this joyful Season of the year! If you are in or near Austin, please drop by and see the work! Here are the details:

"Together Again" 
Winter Group Show - Davis Gallery
834 W. 12th Street, Austin, TX
On Display through January 9, 2022


Lovely turn out throughout the afternoon... 

Mobley, the Art Cat, kept watch over the proceedings. :)

Christmas music topped off the festivities! 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Coffee And A Romp - Figures on Friday #10

Coffee And A Romp, 5 x 7, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2021
Click to purchase $120 + $18 s/h

Hot coffee on the beach is a great way to start the day. Admittedly, dogs don't need coffee (they are happy with the sand and the surf, and running freely), but what a fabulous combo for that dog's human!

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Bare Footin' - Figures on Friday #9

Bare Footin', 7 x 5, oil on panel, L Daniel © 2021
SOLD
(Still wet - available to ship on Dec 10.)

Footloose and fancy free! What is better than a walk along the beach with bare feet? This was a fun one for me... So colorful and happy! And if you can't tell, that dog's tail is wagging with full joy! Love that!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Tree Line Vista with Process Shots!

Tree Line Vista, 8 x 10, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2021
Available - Click for info

Today's painting is one of my demos from the last workshop I taught in Georgia. We had a beautiful time in spite of overcast skies, unseasonably cold weather, and lots of rainy surprises. My students were troopers and kept their focus through it all. Most importantly, they encouraged each other and made it all fun, which is always the most important ingredient!!

Below is a step-by-step explanation of how this painting came together... 

1) Painted loose outline to position subject on the canvas 
(used burnt sienna and ultramarine).

2) Blocked in masses and value hierarchy within the scene 
(still used only burnt sienna and ultramarine).

3) Massed in upright planes in foreground and background. 

4) Toned ground plane to pick up some warm colors of the marsh.

5) Massed in ground plane, muting and cooling it as it goes back to distant upright.

6) Massed in sky plane, observing transitions of temperature and value. 

7) Made final highlights, refining shapes and edges. (I did not love that big gap in the middle of the trees, so closing that up was part of the refining process.) 

The view from my easel.

Part of the gang, hard at work! Thanks, guys! 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Treasure Seeker - Figures on Friday #8

Treasure Seeker, 7 x 5, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2021
SOLD

This is such simple gesture... one we all know from visits to any beach. The ocean offers up new surprises with each wave, and the treasure seeking is inevitable! For the painter in me, I especially love how the simplest shapes of shadow and light can describe a form. This scene is a perfect example of that. My goal with these figure studies is to capture and keep that simplicity! 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Come Follow - Happy Thanksgiving!

Come Follow, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2021

And so the holidays begin... 
Wishing you a peaceful and bountiful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Morning Paddler - Figures on Friday #7

 

Morning Paddler, 5 x 7, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2021
SOLD
(Still wet, available to ship on Nov 22)

Please forgive the glare on this one. Dark paintings are hard to photograph because they are so reflective. I shot this in many different locations and light trying to avoid it... but I could not eliminate it completely. 

One reader pointed out that a whole series on "boys playing with sticks" could be fun. I agree... how about KIDS playing with sticks!!! Paddling, fishing, hiking... sports in general... it seems like sticks are always IN hand and ON hand for every adventure. This morning kayaker is a grown up example of how kids will always be KIDS! 

I love sticks too! Paintbrushes? Mm-hmmm, sticks! More please! ;) 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Big Brother - Figures on Friday #6

Big Brother, 7 x 5, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012
Click to purchase - $120 + $18 s/h

Last week you met Little Sister, and as promised, here is her brother fishing for something with a stick! Not exactly sure what he was going for, but it looked VERY important. No wonder Sis wanted a bit of that action! ;) I loved how the light and shadows defined his gesture in this scene. And the reflection! So fun to paint! 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Little Sister - Figures on Friday #5


Little Sister, 7 x 5, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2021
SOLD

Beach play... can a child ever get enough? They can dig, collect shells, and wield sticks all day... and still want more. I loved the determination of this little one as she took off after her brother (he's coming next week), intent on keeping up with him. And not to worry, mom and dad were right there, keeping a close eye. 

One fun thing about focusing on figures is letting the landscape (which I am usually so concerned with) soften and fade into the background. While it sets the tone and gives context, it is secondary. When people are in a picture, well, it is all about them! ;)